I honestly don’t think I am a superhero, I think I am struggling most of the time, getting by the rest of the time. And I don’t think this has to do with being a single mum or having three kids or three businesses or my epileptic Labrador (yes that’s a real thing). I think every parent feels very similar, I wonder whether there really are any perfect mums and almighty dads out there who don’t doubt every decision they make in their children’s lives. From the moment they are born, ‘Do I leave the cot to go to the loo?’, ‘Will they sleep long enough for me to have a shower?’, to the toddler years, ‘Have I damaged their future health and teeth by given them chocolate to keep them quiet?’, ‘Should I have hugged him after he just had a 40 minute tantrum?’, to the ‘Am I reading enough with them?’, ‘Will they be emotionally damaged by me using the F word at their dad because he didn’t do the dishes and I lost the plot?’, to the teenage years when lets be fair, everything we do will possible be wrong, a look, a sigh, the food we cook. And if I’m honest I think all those questions, those doubts, they are part of being a great parent because you constantly have ‘must do better’ playing in your head.
When I published my ‘about’ post on Facebook, I had lots of lovely people telling me how amazing they think I am. This is not something I feel. I feel like I am treading water. I almost felt embarrassed and a fraud because I know I am not the perfect mum, business woman or dog owner. I struggle to juggle reading with the children and sigh each time I’m reminded in their reading books, my youngest child often gets away without doing homework because I don’t know he has it, some of our meals are ultra healthy and some weeks we live off Greggs and doughnuts, I often drive like a lunatic to make sure I’m at school on time and then feel the eye rolls when I am late (I’m always late) and my daughter (10 years old) acts like my PA, constantly waving school trip forms at me to sign after she has filled in the rest. I occasionally have to rush cakes or cancel sewing because a child or myself are ill and I often forget to post orders because I have so much going on. And I reassure myself every day that I am trying my best but the guilt that goes with parenting is intense.
But you know what, every day I tell my children I love them, I am proud of them and give them affection, I listen for hours as my littlest child ponders the meaning of life, my middle child does sound effects to go along with the new crazy story he’s telling me and my eldest tells me about what she will bake, make or sing this week. And every day they smile and they tell me they love me back, and for the most part they are healthy and happy.
All we can hope as parents is that we are doing a good job, so just for tonight, give yourself a pat on the back because if you are trying even a tiny bit to do it all right whilst juggling, a job, a million meal plans, pets, friends, bills and the hoover, YOU ARE A SUPERHERO!